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Trial of Francis Gary Powers

After his U-2 was shot-down over Soviet territory, Francis Gary Powers—who was employed by America's CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)—was tried, in Moscow, as a spy.

The trial began on August 17, 1960. Because of all the Soviet media attention, it did not take place in a courtroom. Instead, trial was held in the Great Hall of Columns (also known as Pillar Hall) at the House of the Unions (Palace of Unions) in Moscow.

Known for its excellent acoustics, the building housed the Communist party during the Soviet era. The Great Hall was also the scene of Stalinist-era “show trials,” during the 1930s, and is used for concerts today.

Finished in three days, the trial was short although the impact on Powers would be long-term. He was sentenced to three years in prison and seven additional years at hard labor.

Although the crime carried the death penalty, the prosecutor had asked for fifteen years since Powers was remorseful, during trial, and had admitted that he was flying a reconnaissance plane over Soviet territory.

This image depicts Powers, in the dock, during his trial at Moscow's Hall of Columns.


Media Credits

Photo by an unnamed Soviet photographer; online via the U.S. Department of State.

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"Trial of Francis Gary Powers" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 26, 2015. Dec 14, 2017.
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